Radiation oncologist Rituraj Upadhyay worked with a team of researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre to perform a study on the risk of brainstem injury in paediatric patients after receiving proton beam therapy.
Treatments that work for adults might not always benefit young people in the same way, so new research, like this study, that focuses on people under 21 is important for our community. Below we outline how the study was conducted and what it found.
How was the study conducted?
Proton beam therapy has been known to lead to brain stem toxicity. To explore this, the research team collected data from 595 patients after undergoing proton beam therapy and analysed how many developed brain stem injuries based on their age and tumour type.
This also provided data on the clinical correlation of brainstem injury in the treated patients.
What were the results?
15 of the 595 individuals on the study developed some form of brainstem injury, and the average time of incidence occurred 4 months after receiving proton beam therapy.
Overall, the team concluded that the evidence suggested a low risk of injury after proton beam therapy for paediatric brain tumours, when compared with data from photon therapy. Furthermore, a lower risk was still seen after a stricter dosage of the therapy was applied.
For more scientific information on this study, click here.
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